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Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui passes away

Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui passes away

Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui passes away

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing away of Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui, Professor of Christian-Muslim Relations and Inter-Faith Understanding at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education where he was also the Director of the Institute from 2001 to 2008. He was a founder President and Vice Chair of the ‘Christian Muslim Forum’ in England, and a founder member of the Leicester Council of Faiths. 

Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui joined the Islamic Foundation as a research fellow in 1982. Subsequently he completed his PhD on the subject of interfaith dialogue from the University of Birmingham. He received an honorary PhD from the University of Gloucester. He specialized in Christian Muslim Relations and Islam and Pluralism. He pioneered and led the Muslim Chaplaincy programme at MIHE. He was particularly keen on the subject of training of religious leadership -Imams in the UK.

Besides a number of publications on inter-faith, particularly Christian-Muslim relations, he is also the author of a government report on the study of Islam at Universities in England, which may be downloaded from here. 

Prof Ataullah Siddiqui lectured extensively and wrote innumerable articles. He served various community institutions to advance the education and dialogue. His passing away is a great loss. May Allah (swt) shower His Mercy and grant him a high place in Jannat al Firdous. May He give Sabr to his family.  Ameen

If you would like to leave a condolence message please use the comment box below or send by WhatsApp with your name and city to 07920614756


Alan Race Posted on 09 November, 2020 at 2:52 pm

Ataullah was a great advocate of interfaith dialogue, which he pursued with generosity, respect and deep understanding. I worked with him on several dialogue projects and always admired his insight and grace. My most recent contact with him was to ask his advice on Muslim writings on science and religion and his guidance meant that my lecture at Minhaj University, Lahore, was infinitely better than it might otherwise have been. We have lost a wonderful soul and he will be deeply missed by many inside and outside the borders of Islam. May he rest in deep peace.

Ahmad Faizuddin Ramli Posted on 09 November, 2020 at 11:52 pm


I was fortunate enough to work with him several years ago during my academic visit at Markfield. He was down to earth person, a true scholar and enthusiasm in his interfaith work. He had a gentle sense of humour and an open smile to every person he met. His role is more than a supervisor to me due to his concern and hospitality. He will be deeply missed.

May Allah have mercy on him and grants him Jannatul Firdaus.

Revd Dr. Ian Williams Posted on 10 November, 2020 at 12:52 pm

My life, research and teaching has been inestimably enriched by Dr. Ataullah Siddiqui whose passing we morn. A gracious and faithful friend and colleague Dr. Ataullah inspired both myself and so many others in his work in inter-faith dialogue, Research, innovative Chaplaincy Service, teaching in an eirenic and challenging manner, and in spiritual growth.
May he rest in peace and rest in glory.

Ghayas uddin Siddiqui Posted on 10 November, 2020 at 9:42 pm

Ism saddened to hear the death زُMay Allah provide highest places in Jannah
Ghayas Siddiqui

Masumur Rahman Posted on 11 November, 2020 at 3:58 pm

I am blessed and fortunate by Allah that he allowed Dr Ataullah Siddiqui to be a part of my life.
He was, quiet, soft and friendly and a selfless soul.
May Allah grant him the highest level of Jannah.
My condolences goes to his wife and two daughters.

Anna Latifa Posted on 12 November, 2020 at 12:25 am

A dear soul, one I am so privileged to have known. Gone too soon... So sorry my dear friend I didn't get to say goodbye. Dr Atuallah was a valuable part of my family at the Islamic foundation, because of my involvement in inter - faith he took me under his wing from the moment we met. We had a deep respect for each other and understood the value of the work we both loved. May God grant you light and deep peace from now and evermore.... You've gone before us, may we meet again in glory with the blessings of our Lord. Prayers, love and salaam to the family he loved so very dearly.

Mohammad Belall Maudarbux Posted on 12 November, 2020 at 2:32 am

What a loss! I had the chance of being one of his students and then later, a personal friend. He was the main driver behind my current engagement in interfaith dialogue in Mauritius and at the African Union. A meticulous scholar with a gracious soul. A peacemaker has gone. The global Muslim community and the Leicester Islamic community in particular have lost one of their brightest minds.

M H Zulqarnain Posted on 12 November, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Assalamu aliakum. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajeoon.
A very sad news indeed. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala amply reward him for his services and efforts. Such a nice person and scholar of highest caliber. I was fortunate enough to be in touch with him for over three decades and benefited from his knowledge and scholarship. A very beloved person to associate with who would leave an impact one can hardly forget.
May the Most Merciful bless his family members and friends patience and fortitude to bear this loss.

Wazir Bax Posted on 12 November, 2020 at 6:15 pm

I am honored to spend time with Dr. Ataula in Trinidad (2017) and Guyana (2019). In him we find a deep intellect and a magnanimous heart. His understanding of South Asian Islam was enviable. The ease at which he interacted with sages and religious opposites is a sight to behold. His critique of Old Syllabus at Islamic seminaries is insightful. May Allah reward him with the highest place in Jannah.

Ghulam Nabi Falahi Posted on 12 November, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Dr Atullah was a noble soul with a down to earth personality, a great advocate of interfaith dialogue. He was a very humble and sincere person. I am saddened at his departure. May Allah grant him the highest rank in Paradise, Ameen

Kamal Helbawy Posted on 13 November, 2020 at 1:24 pm

We ask Allah to bless him and put his soul in paradise. He was a very good example. Polite and scholarly distinguished. My condolancies for the family and the foundation and the community. Allah bless us all

Prof. Dr. Tariq Ramadhan Posted on 13 November, 2020 at 1:59 pm

إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون
To God we belong and to Him we shall return

My dear brother Ataullah Siddiqui passed away this morning. He has been so instrumental in my intellectual and spiritual education : a great and humble soul, a deep mind. An efficient educator whose contribution to the Muslim community has been huge, especially in inter-faith dialogue. So sad. I never forgot the gift of his presence and shall never forget the meaning of his absence in sha Allah.

لله ما أعطى ولله ما أخذ وكل شيء عنده بأجل مسمى

May God welcome him in His grace and offer him the best place under His shadow, in His paradise.

رحمه الله رحمة واسعة واسكنه الفردوس الأعلى

Our condolences to his family, his beloved ones and the Muslim community in the UK and worldwide.
Prof. Tariq Ramadhan

Ruqaiyah Hibell Posted on 13 November, 2020 at 3:36 pm

Our dear brother Ataullah returned to Allah at his appointed time, and Allah is always near. The blessings he brought to our lives will shine on in the continuation and development of his legacy to offer expansion within the path he paved. May the jewels of acceptance, difference and diversity be polished and embraced. Let us, like Ataullah, tread the earth humbly, with joy and humility, seeking always to unite, to heal and not to divide, appreciating each other's special gifts, divine purpose and intrinsic value and to emulate his exemplar of pious conduct, thereby, encompassing the rich tapestry of life as service to God. May Ataullah rest forever in serenity in the garden of his Lord. Ameen.

Dr Angela Jagger Posted on 13 November, 2020 at 6:38 pm

I first became aware of Dr Ataullah not long after I moved to Leicester in 1987. I started attending the Muslim-Christian dialogue sessions that were held at the old headquarters of the Islamic Foundation in London Rd. Typically a Christian and a Muslim speaker would address the same topic followed by a general discussion. This might involve people talking at cross purposes and then a quiet voice would come from the side of the room. In a couple of sentences, with an authority based on experience he would sum up the nub of the discussion. Here I thought was someone with a deep insight not just into the nature of Islam, but also of Christianity, someone who is able to see to the heart of the matter.
I gradually got to know him better and my respect for him both as a scholar and a human being went up and up.
As I was teaching Religious Studies, I found myself calling on Dr Ataullah’s expertise again and again. This included his contribution to the MA course on Inter-religious Relations at the St Philip’s Centre, whilst in turn I led some sessions for him at MIHE. He was unfailing in the support he so graciously offered. His contribution to inter-faith relations not only in the UK but worldwide cannot be underestimated.
I shall always remember him.

Suleman Nagdi MBE DL Posted on 13 November, 2020 at 6:49 pm

Professor Ataullah Siddiqui was a close friend over many years. His family linage was one of scholarly achievements and those who added much to issues of faith. It was therefore fitting that he followed that tradition and excelled as one of the most respected Islamic scholars of our time. I saw how he led the chaplaincy course at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education where he asked me to contribute for a number of years. Over the years there were many talks, meals and gatherings, which we shared. The Muslim community and the wider interfaith world are poorer for this loss. Prof. Ataullah contributed greatly to interfaith work particularly in Leicestershire where the benefits we see have been shaped by his talents. Prof. Ataullah was inspirational, balanced and thoughtful. He was a deep thinker and a formidable intellectual force in the world of academia. It now falls to those of us left behind to continue his legacy. All at the Federation of Muslim Organisations and I will miss him dearly. May Allah (swt) grant him peace and provide the utmost strength to his family. Ameen

Abul Hassan Posted on 14 November, 2020 at 8:29 am

Inna lillahi wa Inna Ilahi razeun.
I express my deeply sadness and condolences on the demise of my respected brother in Islam Dr. Ataullah Siddiqi. He was a great and knowledgeable person. I worked with him both at the Islamic Foundation and Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK. May Allah s.w.t. grant him Jannatul-Firdaus and forgive his sins. May the Almighty Allah give his family the fortitude to bear this great loss. I pray to Rahmanir Rahim that He will place him comfort and light on the grave.

Associate Professor Dr. Abul Hassan Posted on 14 November, 2020 at 6:37 pm

We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.
(Quran 2,156). I express my deeply sadness and condolences on the demise of my respected brother in Islam Dr. Ataullah Siddiqi. I work with him at the Islamic Foundation and Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK. I found him as a knowledgeable and great person.
"O Allah! Forgive my Brother Ataullah Siddiqi, elevate his status among the guided people and look after the family that he left behind. O Lord of the universe! Forgive us and him, comfort him in his grave and lighten his stay (in the grave."

Usman Bugaje Posted on 16 November, 2020 at 3:27 am

Innalillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajiuun. Ataullah has finally returned to his Lord, as we must all do when our appointed time comes. Even as this is a reality we have never lost in our minds, it always comes with its consternation and its pain. I have been privileged to know late Ataullah from the late 70's at the Foundation, then at London Road, in Leicester. Attaullah had always been calm, collected and reflective, full of patience and generous with knowledge. He had been my encyclopedia for inter-faith, ready to give information and share documents, any day anytime. He was exceptionally considerate, kind and helpful. He was gentle, accommodating and full of forgiveness. His departure is not only a loss to his family but also such a loss to the Foundation, the inter-faith community and the Muslim community in the UK. As long time friends we feel the pain of his absence and will have to gradually if uncomfortably, adjust to this absence. Some of us will bear the pain of his loss like a scar on our psyche. We shall continue to pray to Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful, to forgive any shortcomings and grant him eternal rest in al-Janna. Amin Ya Rabb. We extend our condolences to his Family and the Brothers and Sisters at the Foundation and MIHE.

Dr. Mohammed Johari Posted on 16 November, 2020 at 12:41 pm

May ALLAAH the Mercyful and Bestower of blessings and reward grant the late Dr. Ataullah Siddiqui for his guidance and assistance for and patience with his numerous students – me being honoured to be one of them, although not living in the UK.

إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ

Dr. Ataullah Siddiqui was such an inspiration, first because of his warmth and character and then due to his strive and contributions on the way of knowledge, learning and teaching!

مَا شَيْءٌ أَثْقَلُ فِي مِيزَانِ الْمُؤْمِنِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ خُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ

His legacy will continue as well as his reward bi-idhniLLAAH, since he left us beneficial knowledge!

Dr Rashid Motala Posted on 16 November, 2020 at 3:29 pm

May Allah grant Professor ATAULLAH SIDDIQUI Jannatul Firdose and may his family be granted sabrun jameelun. Aameen.

Ahmad Totonji Posted on 16 November, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Dear Br. Anwar Cara

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

I pray to Allah that you will be in the best of health and spirit.

It is with the deepest sorrow that we received the news about the demise of Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui.

May Allah bless his soul and grant him Jannah.

﴿وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ) ١٥٥( الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ) ١٥٦(﴾ [البقرة: 155-156]

May Allah grant every member of the family, the patience and strength to endure this great loss.

On behalf of the IIIT family, please convey the condolences to the extended family of Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui.

Your brothers

Dr. Hisham Altalib

Dr. Ahmed Alwani

Dr. Omar Kasule

Dr. Ahmad Totonji

Mohammad Totonji

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Imtiyaz Yusuf
Date: Mon, Nov 16, 2020 at 3:53 AM
Subject: Memorial Meeing for Dr. Ataullah Siddiqui
To: Imtiyaz Yusuf

Dear friends,

Memorial Meeing for Dr. Ataullah Siddiqui


We are deeply saddened to know that Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui passed away from this life on 9 November 2020. "To Allah we belong and to HIm is our return" (Quran 2:156). May God have mercy upon him.

We the friends and colleagues of Prof. Ataullah Siddiqui plan to commemorate his memory and convey our condolences to the family members of Prof. Siddiqui. This is an online memorial event.

Date: 29 November 2020
Time: 6.00 pm (New Delhi Time)

The Link

Organized by Victor Edwin, SJ, Islamic Studies Association, New Delhi, India.

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